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(Part 43)


February 27, 2020

Today’s readings:
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 1:1-6
Luke 9:22-25

To be built on Rock is to listen to God’s words and to act on them. One who does so builds his house on rock and his house will not collapse when buffeted by winds and floods. One who does not will see his house collapse. So this is a matter of life and death. The Lord told His chosen people, “See, I have today set before you life and good, death and evil.” (Dt 30:15).

To listen to and act on God’s words is to obey His commands. This is our choice, and we reap the consequences of such choice. “If you obey the commandments of the Lord, your God, which I am giving you today, loving the Lord, your God, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and ordinances, you will live and grow numerous, and the Lord, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.” (Dt 30:16). If not, if we disobey, we will perish (Dt 30:17-18). For us it should be no choice at all.

Now we can only act on God’s words if we know these. Many so-called Christians today go about their daily lives not obeying God, for some, perhaps not knowing the right thing to do. Especially in today’s culture, what is good has become bad and what is bad has become good. There is much confusion and uncertainty as to God’s law. And so it is imperative that for a man to build on rock, “on his law he meditates day and night.” (Ps 1:2b). He should greatly desire and prize divine teaching and instruction. It should be that “the law of the Lord is his joy” (Ps 1:2a). How can one not delight in knowing the right path and being blessed by following it? “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.” (Ps 1:1).

What listening to God’s words and acting on them is is discipleship. It is sitting at the feet of Jesus to learn from him as Teacher, and it is obeying what he says as Master. What does Jesus teach us? “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9:23). Now denying oneself is dying to self, taking up his cross is being crucified with him, and following him leads to the cross of suffering and pain. Many people, including so-called Christians, do not want that. And so they end up rejecting God’s path for them. But that is the only path of discipleship. If we are to be built on the Rock that is Christ, if we are to withstand the buffeting of darkness and evil in the world, if we are not to collapse but rather be saved, this is the only way to go. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Lk 9:24).

To not build on rock is to be “like chaff driven by the wind.” (Ps 1:4b). We cannot stand. To not build on Rock is to go the way of sinners, “but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.” (Ps 1:6b). Our house will collapse. “If, however, your heart turns away and you do not obey, but are led astray and bow down to other gods and serve them, I tell you today that you will certainly perish” (Dt 30:17-18a).

Here then is our choice: to build on rock or on sand; to obey God’s commands or not; to follow Jesus as his disciple or not. “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.” (Dt 30:19b). We of course choose life and blessing. This happens “by loving the Lord, your God, obeying his voice, and holding fast to him.” (Dt 30:20). Listen to and act on God’s words.

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